Friday, December 30, 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

a post on friendship, trust, and the melding of the digital world and the "real" world...

This is a very special envelope.

Here's why.

I have a special blog friend. I have not met this person, but we have been following each other's blogs for over three years now.  I wish I could remember how or why I stumbled across her blog (or did she stumble upon mine first?) but I suppose the history is unimportant here; we have enjoyed each other's "company" and the triumphs and challenges each other's families have faced. Our interest in blogging alone has made us friends.

My blog friend lives in the opposite part of the country.  She is an amazing woman who always puts family first but still manages to weave in many wonderful charitable opportunities.  She is generous and selfless and kind. She is very wisely guarded about her name and names of her family members. I wish to respect that and avoid blowing her cover. 

That is all the more reason that I find this envelope really interesting.

A year or so ago, she found me on facebook and suggested we open that level of trust by becoming fb friends.  I then learned her real name, and many other interesting things about her and her family.

Then, a month or so ago, a situation arose where she needed to mail me something.  So, I sent along our snail mail address.  The item she sent actually arrived from a secondary source and that was that.

THEN, the other day, much to my excitement and surprise, I received a Christmas card, in the actual mailbox, from my blog friend!  It was really neat seeing her handwriting and return address for the very first time, as well as hold a photo card in my hand, rather than viewing her family photo on my computer, as I had done for so many years.

I love that we are friends, and I know we will meet in person someday.  But for now, I will say how happy I am that we have agreed to trust each other on a new level and merge the digital world with the real, meaningful, fun world of written correspondence.  Thank you, friend.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happy Holidays

Happy holidays to all the readers out there!  My mom and Jon's sis are in town.  And as you know, Grandma Cathy has been here since May. So, our winter break has been filled with friends, family, and FUN. 

Loot! (Many of these photos have been taken by my very own Canon Rebel T3 EOS 1100D.
Best Christmas EVER, thanks to the hubby!)
 "LEON" (this one's for you, Aunt Phyl) :)

 Very unique gifts
 Yummy Christmas eve meal
 Jon's favorite game: Catch Phrase
And just like last year, we took the family to the Great Wolf Lodge the day after Christmas.  It was really, really fun for all.  Andrew LOVED all the slides.

Here's one little EJ in one big water park.

  Here's a video of the kids checking out their loot first thing Christmas morning:
Hope your holidays are/were wonderful and I look forward to us blogging together in 2012! :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Card History

I love good, old-fashioned written correspondence.  Have since I was a little kid in the pen pal stage.  So, by nature, Christmas cards are my thing.  They are too pricey or time-consuming or 1950s for some folks, especially with our internet age, but I enjoy them still.  I love sending and receiving them. 

So, last night I took a trip down memory lane.  Since I have a long-standing relationship with the amazing company that is Shutterfly, it was easy to locate all the cards we have sent over the years.  Looking at them all brought back many, many happy memories.

We were all about...
...our marriage in 2003...

...traveling in 2004...

... a new South Texas life in 2005...

... our first children (two puppy dogs) in 2006...

... our first baby in 2007...

... a move to South Carolina in 2008...
... our second son in 2009...
... settling in to SC life and my new teaching position in 2010...

... enjoying the wonderful world and all its blessings in 2011.
As you reflect upon 2011 and years past, may those thoughts bring you much happiness, as well.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


There is warmth all around. 

First, even though it's corny, I'll state the obvious reason: the season.  I love sharing in the warm, fuzzy feelings most of us get during this holiday season (once I can relax that the winter concert has been successful).  It's my second-favorite season to fall.

Second, it is because of the unseasonably warm temperatures. Yesterday it reached 77° around these parts, and I took this photo in the late afternoon.

Today, I was extremely warm because I took the boys for a gorgeous run at Clemson Extension, which is some "wilderness" right smack-dab in the center of our city. 

Another warm moment occurred because of how daggone funny Andrew is.  He had a bathroom emergency situation right after the run, so we found the nearest tree and made it happen.  Right afterwards, he said, "I think the tree is going to be mad at us."

Ethan got very sleepy, as usual, on the run.  I am warmed by his innocence and sweetness and his ability to go with the flow.
And of course, the warmest thought of all is that today marks the first of 16 STRAIGHT DAYS of NO SCHOOL FOR ANYONE. YIPPEE!

Friday, December 16, 2011

More Beautiful Karen Johnson Images

Karen Johnson took more beautiful photos of the boys on October 15. Ethan was in the better mood that day, so that's why there are more of him. Karen is amazing! She can be found at

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Home Project #5: Re-covered Dining Chairs

I found the perfect material and have done one of six chairs. 
Here is BEFORE... the drab, cream upholstery that caught every single possible stain.
And here's the same chair after.

I will post a final pic when all six are done.  (Wonder when that will be?!?)